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Sarasota-Manatee
Business Observer Tuesday, Jun. 5, 2018 5 months ago

Iconic motor home manufacturer acquires local company

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Winnebago plans to maintain Chris-Craft’s Sarasota headquarters.

SARASOTA — Winnebago Industries Inc. acquired Sarasota-based recreational boat builder Chris-Craft from Stellican Ltd. 

Stellican has owned Chris-Craft since 2001, according to a press release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago expects to maintain Chris-Craft’s Sarasota headquarters, according to a statement. 

“Chris-Craft is an iconic, premium brand that shares many similarities with our own heritage Winnebago brand, including a commitment to providing customers with the highest quality products and services,” says Winnebago Industries President and CEO Michael Happe in a statement. “The company’s strong brand, high-quality product line and premium position in the marine market make Chris-Craft an attractive addition to our portfolio."

He also says Chris-Craft marks the company's first entry into the marine market. "Additionally, we see significant intersection between the RV and marine lifestyles and view marine as a natural adjacency to our existing outdoor lifestyle portfolio, with similar customer demographics and significant ownership crossover." 

Stephen Heese will continue to lead Chris-Craft as president.

In a statement, Heese says, “We look forward to further developing our storied brand while leveraging Winnebago’s capital and resources to accelerate our growth and continue delivering an exceptional product experience for our dealers and customers.”

Winnebago Industries is a manufacturer of motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheel products and boats. It has facilities in Iowa, Indiana, Oregon, Minnesota and Florida.

 

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